DIY: Autumnal Floral Crown

 The nights are drawing in and the temperatures are dropping… We’re well and truly into autumn. Let’s face it, autumn is one of the best seasons with the changing colours of the leaves, hearty grub to keep you warm and the excuse to stay in and keep cosy. In celebration of the season, make yourself this Autumnal Floral Crown!

DIY Autumn-flower-crown

You will need:
Scissors, Needle and thread, 1 metre of ribbon, Selection of coloured felt squares and glue

Autumn-flower-crown ingredients

Step 1
To make a heart flower, cut 3 tear shaped petals, 4 heart shaped petals and 3 double petals. Stitch through the bottom of each of the petals starting with the smallest moving up to the bigger petals. Gather them up and twist them around to make the flower and glue it in to place.

Autumn-flower-crown

Step 2
To create the pompom flower, first take a strip of felt and fold it in half along the length, then cut lots of small slits along the fold. Starting at one end roll up the length gluing it in place as you roll. Secure the end in place with a stitch for extra strength.

Autumn-flower-crown

Step 3
Don’t forget to cut a selection of leaves in different shapes and colours.

Autumn-flower-crown

Step 4
To make a rose style flower, cut a circle of felt then cut a scalloped spiral into the middle. Starting at the centre twist the spiral so the petals curl up around the centre. It helps to catch it in place with a few stitches here and there as you twist it around.

Autumn-flower-crown

Step 5
To make a succulent flower, cut 6 pointed tear drop petals then 12 larger pointed petals and a small disc of felt to attach them to. Glue 6 of the larger petals around the edge of the felt disc, then a little closer in – glue the next 6 so they sit in between the first 6. Then interleaving the smaller petals glue them into the centre.

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Step 6
To make a thistle flower, cut two lengths of coordinating felt and along the length of one cut v shapes into it to create a grass type look. Then like the pompom flower take the other piece and cut small slits along the length. Start with the second piece and start rolling it up, gluing it in place as you roll. Then when you reach the end, start to roll the grass layer around the outside. Again gluing it in place and securing with a small stitch.

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Step 7
To make a tropical bloom flower, simply cut 8 spiky petals and stitch them together at the base, pulling them together tightly and securing with a few extra stitches.

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Step 8
To assemble your flower crown take a length of felt approximately 25cm long by 5cm wide and round off the top corners. Take the length of ribbon and glue it in place matching up the centre of the ribbon to the centre of the felt strip.

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Step 9
Start by laying out all the flowers you have made in a nice arrangement above the headband. Then begin gluing the leaves you have cut to the headband, before gluing the rest of your felt blooms in place starting at the outside edges and working your way to the middle.

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Step 10
We highly recommend using a specialist fabric glue, but a glue gun would also work. If you don’t have any glue you can always sew the felt leaves and flowers to the headband. Once the glue has fully dried you can place the crown on your head and tie the ribbon in place at the base of your hairline.

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Words and Photography  Liveitloveitmakeit

The Snuggle is Real

Now that the temperature has well and truly dropped, we want nothing more than to curl up in the evenings under a blanket and wrap up with the warmest of knits. So here’s our pick of the best…

Asos Pom Pom Mittens

Keep your hands warm with these cute, chunky-knitted pom pom mittens, £10, Asos

Boden Polar Bear Knit Jumper

Cheer up the dullest of days with this fun polar bear jumper, £89, Boden

Red Checked Scarf Zara

Wrap up and be seen in this bright checked scarf, £17.99, Zara

Topshop Cat Ear BeanieThe purrfect companion for any chilly day! Wear this knitted beanie with cat ear detail, £14, Topshop

Cellardoor Sounds

Let’s face it, there’s nothing better than finding new music in unexpected places – a film, an advert, a TV show – there’s a whole world of music to discover and while we all have our favourite albums, fresh new music you want to tell everyone about is a great feeling!

With that in mind we couldn’t resist putting together a playlist of tracks for you to fall in love with! So sit back and enjoy some new sounds for the next hour, we hope you enjoy this playlist as much as we did.

1. Alex – Nicky Blitz
2. Stay Gold – First Aid Kit
3. I Care – Frances
4. Kamikaze – MØ
5. This Simple Pleasure – Billie Black
6. Zillionaire – Nao
7. Magnets – Disclosure, Lorde
8. Honeydripper – Royce Wood Junior
9. Omen – Disclosure, Sam Smith
10.Face to Face – Daft Punk
11.Lay It All on Me – Rudimental, Ed Sheeran
12.Leave a Trace – CHVRCHES
13.Ghost – Halsey
14.Turn Your Love – Half Moon Run

Don’t forget to follow the playlist on Spotify to keep updated on what we’re listening to!

Written by Leanne Beale

INSTAGRAM SPOTLIGHT

It’s time to share another one of our favourite Instagrammers and this week it’s photographer @leannedixon. Leanne has a knack of finding some of the best hidden spots in our wonderful city – London! We definitely recommend checking out her Instagram page to explore some of her favourite places…

Leanne Dixon Instagram

Dead Friendly

Halloween is almost here and everywhere we look we see ghosts, ghouls and all sorts of scary monsters. Though one ghost we’ve come across is slightly less frightful, more adorable…Lazy Oaf have a new collection dedicated to everyone’s favourite friendly ghost – Casper!

   
   
Whatever your style, there’s something for everyone with dresses, t-shirts and even fluffy jumpers. 

   
   
If Halloween usually has you hiding under the covers, this is the best way for you to finally get into the spirit of things…

We’re all mad here!

This year marks the 150th anniversary of the publication Lewis Carroll’s Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland. To celebrate, the British Library has opened up a pop-up shop with all the weird, wonderful and, of course, curious Alice goodies you could imagine. We were lucky enough to get a sneak peek…

Alice Pop Up Shop

Stepping into the shop really is like falling down a rabbit hole as the design of the shop captures the essence of Carroll’s books perfectly. Everything from the floor and display cabinets to the ceiling decorations and original illustrations of Alice and her friends will have you believing you’ve entered Wonderland.

The British Library teamed up with Etsy for a competition to find some talented designers who put their own spin on Alice with their fantastic creations. Watch out for the designs from winners Chá Com Letras, Gunna Ydri, Dina Malkova, Rentaro and Pobble and Ping.

Pobble and Ping Alice in Wonderland Pencils

Alice in Wonderland Cup and Saucer

The shop is open until 31st January and the long-awaited exhibition showcasing the original manuscript will open on 20th November. You won’t want to miss out, so don’t be late…

Double Chocolate Dulce De Leche Cookies

Whilst most of us try to eat a relatively healthy diet, every now and then you just need something that is so bad that it’s amazingly good. These Double Chocolate Dulce De Leche Cookies will do just the trick and they’re not too difficult to make…

You will need:
200g plain flour
240g bread flour
40g cocoa powder
1 ¼ baking soda
1 ½ baking powder
1 ½ sea salt
284g unsalted butter
284g light brown sugar
225g granulated sugar
2 large eggs
2 tsp vanilla extract
250g milk chocolate roughly chopped
250g dark chocolate roughly chopped
200g brazil nuts, skin on and roughly chopped
1 jar dulce de leche (approx. 400g)

Method:
- Measure out the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt and cocoa powder into a bowl and plump the mixture up with a fork.

- Place the sugars and butter into a freestanding mixer fitted with a paddle attachment; a regular bowl with electric whisk works just as well. Beat the two together on high speed for five minutes, until very light and fluffy. Add the eggs one by one, mixing thoroughly after each addition, followed by the vanilla extract.

- On low speed, slowly pour in the dry ingredients and mix until everything is just combined – do not over mix! Add all of the chocolate and chopped nuts and mix until evenly distributed.

- Tightly wrap the dough in cling film and leave to set in the fridge for 24 to 36 hours.

- Put a square of baking paper over a plate. Place teaspoon dollops of dulce de leche onto the baking paper using two teaspoons to make a rounded dollop. Place in the freezer to harden, ready for the cookies.

- Preheat the oven to 180 C. Roll the dough into 50 gram balls, press your finger into half of the balls to create a dip and take a dollop of frozen dulce de leche and place in the middle. Top it with another 50 gram ball of dough and press together to enclose the dulce de leche.

- Place on a lined baking sheet 3 inches apart. At this point, you can place the balls back in the fridge to re-chill. Bake for 18 minutes, rotating the cookies half way through.

- Leave to cool on the baking sheets for five minutes and then transfer to a wire rack – serve warm. Cookies last for three days if kept covered. Raw cookie dough can kept in the freezer for up to one month.

Recipe and Photography by Em

DIY: Pyramid Bookends

Every true book lover will proudly display their reading collection for all to see, but there’s nothing worse than having to constantly stand them all upright after they’ve toppled over. Luckily for you, we can show you these cute bookends that are not only easy to make but will brighten up any bookshelf!

IMG_2772small

You Will Need:
2 pieces of material measuring 13″ x 9″
Cotton
Needle or sewing machine
Rice
Toy stuffing

How to Make:
Step 1. Fold the material, with right sides together, lengthwise. So the two 9″ edges are together. Sew together with a sewing machine, or by hand.

Step 2. Turn the fabric the right way round. Fold the edges of one side of the opening inwards (about 1cm) so they make a nice neat edge. Sew together.

Step 3. Fill the pouch about 1/3 full with rice to weigh it down and then top up with toy stuffing to give it some shape.

Step 4. Pull the opening together so the seam is perpendicular to the previous one (this will give it it’s pyramid shape). Fold the edges in like you did on the last seam and pin together. Sew shut.  Now all you have to do is make another one!

Words and photography: Trends with Benefits

For the love of Liberty

Liberty in Fashion Exhibiton Header

This year Liberty is turning the ripe old age of 140 and to celebrate the occasion the Fashion and Textile Museum are hosting an exhibition, Liberty in Fashion.  The exhibition charts Liberty’s evolution throughout the years and explores how their style became so iconic, with their distinctive textile prints and instantly recognisable floral patterns.

Liberty in fashion exhibition

Liberty in Fashion opens today and runs until 28th February, but we were lucky enough to get a sneaky preview earlier this week. The exhibition is made up of nine key sections, showcasing fashion from their humble beginnings selling imported exotic silks from the Far East, to the infamous swinging sixties in London, as well as their modern collaborations with designers such as Anna Sui, Acne and Nike to name a few.

Liberty in Fashion Exhibition

There are more than 150 garments on display from a whole host of designers, including Jean Muir, Yves Saint and Vivienne Westwood. If you find yourself in the capital, it’s definitely worth heading over and taking a look…

Liberty in fashion exhibtion

Apple Butter Hand Pies

These intensely buttery and flaky hand pies are like a posh man’s McDonalds apple pie. If you read the recipe ahead and bake them over two days though, they can be enjoyed by anyone. And they darn well should be, because nobody should be subjected to applesauce that tastes like wall glue.

Apple Butter Hand Pies

Ingredients:
Apple Butter
14-16 Braeburn or Pink Lady apples, peeled, cored & sliced into chunks
1 cup (275ml) apple juice
2 tbsp brandy
1 cinnamon stick
1 tsp ground ginger
½ tsp ground nutmeg
¼ tsp ground cloves
1 cup (220g) caster sugar
2 tbsp lemon juice

Pie Dough
2 ½ cups (290g) plain flour
1 tsp salt
1 tsp sugar
1 cup (230g) cold, cubed butter
¼ / ½ cup (around 100ml) cup cold water plus extra for brushing
½ cup (110g) sugar
1 tsp cinnamon

Notes: as the apples are cooked down, it doesn’t matter which apples you choose for this recipe, just go for the ones that you believe have the best flavour.

Apple Butter Hand Pies

Method

1. Put the flour, sugar, salt and cubed butter in a food processor and pulse until breadcrumbs form. Before it forms a ball, slowly add the water – add a little extra if it feels dry, pulse until dough forms. Pat the dough into a ball, wrap in cling film and refrigerate for 30 minutes, preferably overnight.    

2. Make the filling. Combine all ingredients in a large heavy bottomed saucepan. Cook over medium heat and stir every so often. The apples will start to break down and will eventually reach a saucy consistency. Cook for 45 minutes and mash up unbroken pieces of apple. Reduce heat to medium-low and continue to cook for 2 hours until the sauce is much darker, thicker and half the amount. Transfer to a jar and let cool to room temperature and then refrigerate, will last there for 1 month or up to 6 months in the freezer.   


3. On a lightly floured surface, roll the dough out a ¼ inch thick. Take a 4/5 inch cookie cutter and cut out as many rounds as you can, you should have about 16. Place the rounds on a baking tray, cover and refrigerate for 30 minutes. Spoon 1 ½ teaspoons of apple butter in the centre of half the rounds, making sure to leave a 1/2 inch gap between the edges of the pastry. Brush water around the edges of rounds and place another round on top. Gently seal the dough with your fingers and create a cross in the centre using a knife. Repeat with the rest of the rounds. Place back on baking sheet, cover and and refrigerate for 30 minutes.   

4. Preheat the oven to 180 C. Combine cinnamon and sugar in a small bowl. Brush pies with water and then sprinkle with cinnamon before baking. Bake for 22 minutes until lightly browned. Let cool or eat warm, lasts for 3 months in the freezer or 4 days at room temperature.

Apple Butter Hand Pies finished

Recipe and photography by Emine Hassan

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